On the Waterfront.

One of the most pleasurable activities that I like to experience is dining on the waterfront.

There is a large lake on a chain of lakes that my best friend and I enjoy going to, for not only does it have the beauty and serenity that we like, but there is also a small out-of-the-way restaurant on its shores.

It is a simple place and nothing fancy at all about it.  The white frame building is old – perhaps circa 1940s.  Behind it is a row of two buildings that house little rooms, perhaps kitchenettes for fishermen in another time.

The restaurant itself has a small bar.  Wooden tables are scattered about the two dining rooms.

Outside, there is a seating area with tables and a counter where diners can eat looking over the piers and across the great expanse of the lake.  From time to time, we spotted alligators and fishing birds.  The restaurant sort of reminds of me of Mildred’s restaurant in James M. Cain’s book, Mildred Pierce, or the restaurant in another one of his books, The Postman Always Rings Twice.  The restaurant we frequent has that cozy, post-war feel.

The menu itself is basic and reminiscent of home cooking, with offerings of simple cocktails to wet your whistle.

Our usual spot is a table for two looking out towards the water.  Sometimes we see fish jumping in arcs, playfully energetic.  Occasionally, we spot water birds darting in and out of the water, looking for a meal or just sitting on the piers, wings outstretched and drying off.

There are always some sort of boats skimming across the waters.  Some come from the homes directly across the far side of the lake, and some from any one of the another lakes in the chain.  When the boat captain ties the boat to the pier and the passengers alight, there usually is laughter and excitement as they walk down the boardwalk and into the restaurant.

Over the speakers in the ceiling, music gently plays, loud enough to hear, yet soft enough to carry on conversations without yelling across the table.

There is something calming about being near the water that takes away the stress and clamor of everyday life.  Nothing else is important but the immediate experience and the topics of conversation at the table.

Indeed, this is one of my favorite ways to spend some wonderful time on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday night.  Not only do I benefit from the atmosphere and good friendship, but it also clears my mind a bit to gather and clear my thoughts and get lost in a quiet world, with the benefit of sparking some creativity and cleansing.

It’s about peace, calm, and a sort of escapism, of course.  It is good to periodically break away from the world’s insanity.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my book, “Your Table is Ready,” and my new book coming up, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023

Calling It What It Is.

Have you bowed to the new gods of the world today?

Oh, yes, they have made themselves known to us.  They are the ones who feed the breakdown of society.  They tell us to not believe our lying eyes.  They scoff at our intelligence.  They are the people who claim to change their biological sex, mutilate them themselves, then turn around and call those who won’t grovel at their feet and pay homage to them “monsters,” bigots,” and “evil.”

They are also the new gods who pontificate that we humans can change the climate, and woe be unto anyone who knows otherwise.

The new god is also the government – father, mother, provider, supreme head.  Who needs an invisible god, when there is the titular head in Washington?

These gods have all the answers, want all the power, and have a mental illness.  That’s right – our new gods are off their rockers don’t know what is normal anymore.

Therein is the problem – mental illness is not being called for what it is, and meanwhile, the politicians, the media, and their sycophants are joyfully helping the devil push this new religion, brought to you since 1848.

Will you kowtow to it?

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “It’s All Supreme Theater,” ©2023

Name Calling.

The weather was beautiful these past days – warmth, sun, and more time outdoors to catch a few rays and smell the freshness of springtime.  I like the coolish mornings that slowly warm up to a cozy heat by noontime.

Earlier today, I was thinking about being at the pool.  As of this writing, the neighborhood beach pool is still under reconstruction.  You see, it was sinking, and the entire pool had to be completely rebuilt.  Nonetheless, my thoughts went to last summer when I was at the neighborhood pool last week with Best Friend.  We happened upon two neighbors who began talking to Best Friend.  Eventually, I was able to contribute to the conversation, and that’s a story for another day.

Well, Mr. Neighbor constantly called me by a different name during this conversation.  And I constantly corrected him.  But either he didn’t care, or he didn’t understand what my name is.

Mrs. Neighbor overheard this, and she also attempted to correct him, but in a way that subtly made fun of my name.  So, she was a bit cutting, too.

I gave up on them and swam away.  I don’t know whatever I did or said to them.  In fact, I didn’t meet them until that day, and this whole episode with him purposely calling me by another name and she getting mocking flabbergasts me.  Their actions pretty much tells me what their demeanor is anyway.

Who needs to be around ghastly people like them?  I certainly don’t.

It is the height of disrespectfulness for someone to call another by a name that isn’t theirs and especially when corrected.

That is the state of this neighborhood and unfortunately, the world at large.  Little disrespect for neighbors and acquaintances is the new sport.

It makes me sick.

As ever,

●▬● ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ●▬●

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “Diary from The Ridge,” ©2023

Gracious Living – Comb Your Hair and Don’t Swear.

Did you know that a gentleman doesn’t wear a nose ring?

Who knew?

I discovered a digital book version of “The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness Being a Complete Guide for a Gentleman’s Conduct in all his Relations Towards Society” by Cecil B. Hartley.  (That’s certainly a long title!)

The book, first published in 1860, is 169 pages of invaluable tips for the gentleman – the Do’s and Don’ts for being the kind of man who thinks of others and presents himself well; the type of man everyone looks forward to being around.

There is the advice I expected on keeping one’s hair clean and combed.  (Now that I think of it, uncombed and sloppy parts seem to be the fashion of today – that is, people don’t seem to know what a comb is or what it’s used for.  Or even shampoo for that matter.)

I found the section on how men should treat ladies – they include mothers, sisters, grandmas, aunts, and wives – to be of great interest.  The book frankly lays it all out there:  women are to be treated with the utmost respect.  A gentleman must act like a gentleman towards every lady who acts like a lady.  Women are to be helped with everything – not as if they are weak wallflowers, but because helping one another makes for a more harmonious world.  Unfortunately, in today’s world, I see and hear a lot of disrespect, anger, and degradation towards one another.  Women do it to men, and vice versa.  And what for and why?  I have a theory on how this sniping between the sexes started, and although it’s a quite lengthy observation and analysis, I will briefly state here is that I believe the man-hating began around the Bra-Burning Era, and the disrespecting of women began about a generation after that.

But I’ll return to discussing this book.

The most surprising section in the entire book was the advice given regarding nose rings:  DON’T wear them!  The subject quite shocked me.  I wonder what segment of society in the mid-nineteenth century wore nose rings in America!

There is also stern advice to the gentleman to not attach a bunch of charms on one’s watch fob, either.  That’s tacky.  Ah – could that be the precursor to “less is more”?

I appreciated the section regarding offensive language.  Swearing, using vulgarity, and tossing about slang is a sign of what the author wrote as “low-breeding.”  This subject is a sticking point with me.  I didn’t grow up in a home with anyone using vulgar language.  I didn’t hear any such language until I started working after I graduated from high school, and I was taken aback when I heard a male personnel management specialist slam down his phone and curse about the phone call he was just on.  He saw that I was in the supply room near his desk, and he profusely apologized.  Nowadays, women and even minor children are just as loose with the crude language – and nobody ever apologizes.  In fact, lately I have been told to grow up and accept others using offensive language around me.  Who the heck do I think I am anyway?  The nerve of me trying to live a clean life!

Statements like that are disrespectful and egotistical on their part.  And people wonder about the chaos and uncontrolled negativity in the world!

Nevertheless, the book has sound advice and tips that would be well-followed in these twenty-first century days.  They could only help halt the widespread chaos and turmoil in our world.

The only things that actually date these books are references to horses and carriages, styles of clothing, and hygiene (only insofar as how little people washed then, as compared to hygiene habits).

It is a good and uplifting book.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “Gracious Living,” ©2023

A Jazz Experience.

I walked across the Woodstock town square to a restaurant-lounge called “Joey T’s.” This establishment has live jazz bands performing Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

When l walked in the door, the band was already playing.  The group, composed of four members, was set up in the lounge’s bay window area.  At first, I thought the band was in between sets and practicing.  However, as some time passed, I realized that what they were doing was playing songs.

To me, their music was incoherent and overly loud.  They sounded like people who never had musical training and were just banging the drum helter-skelter and hitting any note on the trumpets.  Perhaps they were improvising.  Perhaps I just could not appreciate their style.

As much as I really appreciate most types of music, this particular jazz band disappointed me, and I believe it’s mostly because of the loudness. I like jazz, but sometimes a band ruins the experience for me.  Unfortunately, I forgot to find out this band’s name.  On the brighter side, this is only one poor experience of many, many good ones.  This will not prevent me from seeking similar entertainment in the future, as I am open to new experiences.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “On the Town,” ©2023

Mom’s Day and the Erasure.

Well, here we go again.

May 14 is Mother’s Day.  It’s a long-held observation that began as a means to recognize and honor mothers and the motherly roles they play within our families.

Yet somehow, over the past few years, the meaning has been greatly watered down, much to the point of negation and hilarity.  Now I see that anybody can be “celebrated” as a mother, and that includes males.  How many times I have seen and read tributes to men – males – who helped to raise their children either as a lone parent or part of a married couple, lauded as a grand recipient of the deceptive moniker of “mother!”  Yes, it is laughable, yet so very sad, too.

“Happy Mother’s Day, Dad.”  Do you see how silly and insulting that is?

Males can never be mothers, just as women can never be fathers.  They cannot ever inculcate an opposite gender trait on their children and call it a day.  Cannot be done.  To believe so is an illusion and a slap to both men and women.

Therefore, to assert that a happy Mother’s Day greeting can equally be applied to a male, actually negates the importance of females and their unique position in raising children and the joy within the traditional family.  And it diminishes and emasculates fathers in the process.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming books, “A Hopeful World” and “Aren’t They Just –!” ©2023

Word Fads.

“Words have meanings, my friend.”

Such were the words dear ol’ Paddy Fitzwilliam uttered as we walked the grounds on his estate recently near the stinkin’ pond.

“Words have meanings, Friend, and if ye do not understand, let me explain.  When I was a youngster, no higher than a faerie standing on a toadstool, my other friend of longstanding always promised to visit on his way to Skibbereen. On this road he would travel was the very same path I lived upon. He never stopped, but kept on a-travellin’ that long road.  These were the days I would make special trips to visit him in his wee village over the many years now.  The years passed, and one day I said feck him, my so-called friend is no friend. He be the kind that just talks to hear himself talk and mostly likely believes I am stupid and addle-brained enough to believe his vapid words.  Thus, be it known that I have little faith in people, and the only one I can count on is meself.  Take heart and hold these words close, for ye will find many a-people such as my former friend.”

And thus, I held ol’ Paddy Fitzwilliams’ words close to my heart, and to this day I do not believe people’s words until I see them put into action.

This brings me to another point.

These days, even in the days of old, words become fads – overused words that quickly become meaningless and nothing more than noise in the world.

There was a time, when I was young, that the word “conceited” was one such fad.

“Becky in biology class is so conceited.  She thinks she’s better than anyone.”  “Jim is a conceited jock.  He thinks he rules the football game.”

Nowadays, people banter about the word, “narcissist.”  Oh, everyone is a narcissist these days.  Did you know that?  The ex-spouses, the ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, the boss, the weird neighbor on the corner.  Everyone is a psychologist or a psychiatrist and handing out free analyses.

Then there is the word “sustainability” and derivatives thereof.  “I take the wind train into work, because I’m all into sustainability.”  “It’s impossible to be sustainable when working in our current global climate.”  “My lifestyle is exponentially sustainable during global warming.”  And then there is this doozy I found in a news article:  “The injury was not sustainable with life,” [the fire chief] reported.

It has come to the undeniable fact that people do not use words in the proper way, that is, they throw those words around in their conversations without any understanding of their meanings or correct usage.

It’s maddening, yet hilarious in a way, too, to hear people use big words with such irresponsible abandon.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “A Hopeful World” and “Aren’t They Just –!” ©2023

What Should I Read?

The sunrise was quite lovely this morning; the pearl grey sky burst into rosy pinks as the sun rose over the horizon.  The pond sparkled like diamonds cast along its gently rippling surface, and my day began with all the optimism and joy one could ever want.

As I stood on the terrace and watched a hawk circle overhead, I thought about a question that is sometimes posed to me – the request to recommend which of my books someone should read.  As always, it is a difficult question to answer, because every reader has his own preferences in reading material.  It is a decision that each and every reader needs to make on his own.

Recently, and over the past three years, an individual has been asking me that question, and my answer to that reader is always, “Well, decide which genre you enjoy, read the plot summaries, and choose a book that tickles your fancy.  I cannot choose for you, because only you know what you enjoy reading.”  Besides, I do not know that individual personally, so with that deficiency, it makes it even more difficult to make any recommendation.

It really is as simple as that.  Because my answer is never a hand-holding one (I have great respect for my fellow readers’ intelligence and their own choice of reading material), the same individual slides over to Best Friend to ask him the same question: “What books should I read that were written by Susan Marie Molloy?”


I write in many genres: roman à clef, psychological, satire, parody, science fiction, history, political science, analysis, essays, poetry, travel, et al.

And on it goes . . .

Unfortunately, I don’t really understand why the same question is asked over and over these past three years.  In fact, I did, once, recommend to that individual a book I wrote, but that same individual kept vacillating, did not read it, and resumed asking the same question.

As for me, I am back on my reading kick of short science fiction stories from the Golden Age of Science Fiction.  Because they are short and quick to read, they are great little fillers in my day when I have fifteen or twenty minutes to spare.

Meanwhile, I am busy re-writing some of my older short stories to be published this fall.  I do have a propensity to keep polishing my works, and a new book is also in the works.

Oh, my!

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “A Hopeful World,” “Diary from The Ridge,” and “Aren’t They Just –!” ©2023

Jubilation Day.

As the sun climbed high in the sky, it turned the grey-blue sky a happy pinkish-orange, and ultimately a clear, optimistic blue.  A flock of sandhill cranes flew over the field in back of the property, honking while on their journey to somewhere.  A soft breeze crossed the veranda, and I inhaled the fresh smell of dew-covered grass.  All was well at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms.  It was a lovely dawn to mark a personally important day.

Best Friend, a.k.a. His Lordship, and I have been friends forever, it seems.  We have been through the best of times, and the worst of times.  Yet, we always – always – come out on top of it all.

That is why every year we celebrate Jubilation Day.

It is a day for us, about us, created by us, observed by us with reverence and revelry.  We celebrate our strong friendship and unwavering love that has a bond like no other.  It cannot be copied or duplicated.  Oh, sure, there are weak imitations, but there is really nothing – nothing – as true and as strong as the bond of a loving friendship we share.

Today is Jubilation Day.

Raise a glass in our honor.

Here’s to another magnificent year.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “Love Essays,” ©2023